Happy birthday, Mom!!!
Off to Lisbon! As always, for transparency, I want to clarify that I was a generously invited guest during my visit to Portugal. Upon an (early) arrival, I checked into Hotel Memmo Principe Real, which is probably one of my favorite international hotels in a long time. After a bit of a rest, I met up with the fabulous Adriana for a catch-up and then to an early dinner at Mini Bar for a quick and quirky meal. I highly suggest trying one of the two set menus, if you’re visiting. The live music is also absolutely worth going for — be sure to book in advance.
Much like all of the incredible culinary teams I’ve visited this year, Jose’s crew took wonderful care of our group throughout the trip. On Tuesday I was given a personal tour to explore (and shop) in Lisbon (my first time visiting). For lunch, we dined at Cantinho do Avillez, where the shrimp curry was a perfect and not too heavy dish. After a brief siesta (!), we enjoyed welcome drinks at the hotel, then a very special dinner by visiting chefs Virgilio Martinez and Pia Leon at Encanto by Jose Avillez. You can see the highlights here.
Wednesday was equally busy. After tuk-tuking around Lisbon (the only way to see the city), we enjoyed lunch at Pateo, then invited for a memorable dinner at Belcanto by Jose Avillez. If visiting Lisbon, please make plans to visit, you won’t be disappointed. Check out the meal here.
Thursday was a day of travel, followed by a hectic laundry, repack, and prep for my departure to Oman early on Saturday. A gift from MMI of Rock Angel wine was super appreciated in advance of Women’s Day, and I’ll be sharing the wine with the Bookers coming up soon. #gifted
With all of the above, please know that I feel incredibly fortunate to make trips like I have been on this year. I realize there is a lot of terrible things happening in the world, and those struggles are with me (as much as they are with all of us). It’s a strange time to be on social media and balance our lives in light of the many serious issues that are currently taking place.
Our trip to Estonia looks amazing (because it was). YouTube
I did a taste test with Grana Padano. #collab Instagram
Chefs using TikTok to reinvent their careers. BBC
Congratulations to all those included on the 2022 Caterer inspirational women list. Caterer
Some recipe dealbreakers. New Yorker
Hidden chili recipes. Daily Dot
Not great news on tipping. VinePair
The UAE cutting back on food wastage. GulfNews
Relevant to my interests: when food blogs became newsletters. Apple Podcasts
The origin story of Bagel Bites. Mel Magazine
Do you want no-knead Gatorade bread? Food is Stupid
The origins of the sommelier. VinePair
A comprehensive list of food holidays. Julee Ho
Let’s talk about food podcasts. Taste
Someone taste-tested all the Cheesecake Factory egg rolls. Mel Magazine
Dining in Los Angeles soon? It’s probably going to be a tasting menu. LA Times
How to properly send food back. Food & Wine
This weekend, well, I should (!) already be at the Alila Hinu Bay in Salalah. This property has been on my radar since it opened, and I hope you’ll follow along on our invited weekend away. I’ll have more to report next week.
Otherwise, I am looking forward to getting back to Dubai and starting to catch up on some of the restaurants I’ve been missing out on (as well as getting back to some regular exercise). To start, I’ll be celebrating International Women’s Month with a table of incredible F&B women at the Atlantis, co-hosting with friend and fellow foodie, Pallavi.
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